Medical Research making an impact now

A global pandemic, an ageing population, and a growing burden of chronic diseases, the challenges our healthcare sector faces are bigger than ever and researchers at the University of Western Australia are at the forefront of addressing some of the world’s most challenging healthcare issues.

Moderated by Professor Romola Bucks, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health and Medical Research), this panel discussion will feature two celebrated UWA Emeritus Professors and two rising stars of UWA’s health and medical research world.

The panel will discuss their research journeys, give an insight into their ground-breaking research and detail how it is making an impact now.

Afterwards, the discussion will continue over drinks and canapes


Professor Romola Bucks
Pro Vice-Chancellor Health and Medical Research and Director of The Rain Study, and Professor in the School of Psychology Services at The University of Western Australia

Professor Romola Bucks is the Pro Vice Chancellor Health and Medical Research (UWA) and Director of The Raine Study,, and Professor in the School of Psychological Science, at the University of Western Australia. Her research focuses on cognitive and affective consequences of typical ageing, and of conditions that contribute to cognitive decline and increase risk of dementia. She works with people with Parkinson’s, Sleep Apnoea, anxiety and depression. Professor Romola Bucks is a passionate teacher and research supervisor, who is committed to mentoring young scientists. She is an Endorsed Clinical Psychologist (AHPRA, Australia).

Emeritus Professor Karen Simmer AO
UWA Medical School

Dr Karen Simmer was appointed as the inaugural Professor of Newborn Medicine at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and the Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Units at King Edward and Perth Children Hospitals (2001-2020). In 2006, she established the first Human Milk Bank in Australia. Professor Simmer was elected Chair of the Academic Board at UWA (2009-2012). She has qualifications from Sydney, London, and Harvard Universities, has over 200 research publications and was the Co-Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence for preterm infants.

Emeritus Professor Grant Morahan
UWA Medical School

Grant Morahan received his doctorate from the University of Melbourne. After a postdoctoral period at Scripps Clinic, USA, he returned to Melbourne, leading a team at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and working on the genetics of complex diseases particularly Type 1 diabetes. Since 2005, he has been the Inaugural Diabetes Research Professor at UWA and the Harry Perkins Institute. His research subjects have included antibody immunochemistry, immune tolerance, immunogenetics, and genetics of type 1 diabetes and other complex genetic diseases. Professor Morahan has over 260 scientific papers, including many in Nature, Science, Lancet, Nature Genetics, PNAS and Diabetes.

Melvin Chin
Medical Oncologist (Sir Charles Gairdner hospital)

Melvin Chin came to Perth after completing his medical degree at the University of Cambridge in 2011. He has a research interest in mesothelioma and did his PhD at NCARD (National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases), where he explored computational approaches to discover cancer biomarkers from gene expression data. He is a past recipient of the ADSA (Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia) PhD scholarship and a current recipient of a Raine Clinician Research Fellowship. Currently, his research focuses on machine learning approaches to predict mesothelioma responses to chemo-immunotherapy treatment.

India Kelsall-Foreman
Provisional Psychologist | MPsych and PhD Candidate (Clinical Neuropsychology)

India Kelsall-Foreman is a provisionally registered Clinical Neuropsychologist and PhD candidate studying at the School of Psychological Science, the University of Western Australia. India’s research focuses on examining anomalous perceptual experiences in healthy older adults living in the general community. Her research shows that anomalous perceptions are relatively common in healthy older adults.